Donald Trump thanks with 200 ventilators

The US government is expected to send around 200 ventilators to India soon as a special gesture of friendship to help it fight Covid-19.

Both sides are working on the dispatch of one of the most sought after devices that helps critically ill patients to breathe.
WASHINGTON: As a special gesture of friendship, the US government is expected to send around 200 ventilators to help India meet its critical needs in the fight against the Corona virus.

Well-informed sources said the delivery is expected “soon” but could not be more specific about the time frame. Various agencies within the US government are currently assessing the domestic demand for ventilators as the country slowly re-opens.

The ventilators would be a generous “thank you” to India for lifting the ban on hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and sending the anti-malarial drug to the US last month. India, the largest producer and exporter of the drug, sent HCQ to various other countries as well, earning goodwill and reaffirming its place as a key source for pharmaceuticals.

President Donald Trump who at one time thought HCQ was a “game-changer” in fighting the virus said India’s gesture “will not be forgotten.” And it seems it wasn’t as both sides work to dispatch and recieve the ventilators, one of the most sought after devices the world over to fight the pandemic.

Trump has repeatedly said in his press conferences that the US now has “thousands” of extra ventilators and can help other countries that urgently need them. He has praised General Motors for converting an existing plant to produce ventilators and then ramping up production to meet the heavy demand in the US.

The national US stockpile has grown to 10,000 ventilators over the past month, allowing Trump to help countries that need them. The US is now the “king of ventilators” Trump has said.

From all accounts, ventilators are in short supply in India and a race is on to produce them at low-cost. Dynamatic Technologies, a leading auto parts manufacturer from Bangalore, announced recently that it had succeeded in developing a portable ventilator that costs only Rs. 2,500.

Throughout the past two months, India and the US have been talking, collaborating on a possible vaccine and discussing ways to help each other in this time of crisis. Trump had a detailed discussion on the pandemic with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in early April and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar have talked twice by telephone in recent weeks.

The virus, which originated in China late last year, has burned through the world at great speed because of various missteps –deliberate and otherwise – by Beijing in the early stages.
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